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Presto Ballet is a progressive metal/rock band founded by Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof. Their sound is highly reminiscent of 70's prog rock, as the band was founded chiefly as a tribute to classic progressive bands such as Yes and Kansas. Their debut album Peace Among the Ruins was released in 2005 to general praise and considerable press. Critics consistently commented on the album's warm and organic sound, a feeling created through the use of analogue recorders and vintage instruments, played with great skill and precision. The band used no drum machines, digital recorders or sequencers in the studio. Jeff Wade, the band's drummer, left in early 2006.

The band released their third album "Invisible Places" in February 2011; this time with Ronny Munroe (Metal Church) on vocal duty.

Edited by Colt 28.2.2011
Thanks to colt, adg211288 for the updates


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PRESTO BALLET albums / top albums

PRESTO BALLET Peace Among the Ruins album cover 3.96 | 5 ratings
Peace Among the Ruins
Metal Related 2005
PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art of Time Travel album cover 4.16 | 9 ratings
The Lost Art of Time Travel
Metal Related 2008
PRESTO BALLET Invisible Places album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
Invisible Places
Non-Metal 2011
PRESTO BALLET Relic Of The Modern World album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Relic Of The Modern World
Metal Related 2012
PRESTO BALLET The Days Between album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Days Between
Metal Related 2018


PRESTO BALLET Love What You've Done With The Place album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Love What You've Done With The Place
Metal Related 2011

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PRESTO BALLET Peace Among the Ruins

Album · 2005 · Metal Related
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"Peace Among the Ruins" is the debut full-length studio album by US progressive rock/metal act Presto Ballet. The album was released through InsideOutMusic in June 2005. Presto Ballet was founded by guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, who wanted to pursue a progressive rock career in addition to his work with traditional heavy metal act Metal Church.

The music on the album is 70s influenced progressive rock with a hard rock singer and some nods toward progressive metal. The use of vintage keyboards (especially mellotron)/organ are dominant features on the album, but Presto Ballet are no one trick pony, and skillfully incorporate heavy guitars and psychadelic pop flavours (reminiscent of late sixties Beatles) to colour their brand of progressive rock. "Peace Among the Ruins" are both exceptionally well played and very well produced, which makes it a very enjoyable listening experience. It´s the high level songwriting skills that stick out the most though. Intriguing Progressive rock tracks like the title track, "The Fringes" and "Speed of Time" are complimented by more pop oriented tracks like "Seasons" and "Sunshine" but also by a heavier and darker track like "Slave". I think it says a lot about the quality of the material and the musicians involved, that Presto Ballet pull off all music styles they play in a highly convincing manner. These guys are professional to the bone. If I have to make references to other artists I would mention acts like Spock´s Beard and Frost* (and a slight nod towards Kansas).

"Peace Among the Ruins" is the kind of album that blew me back in my seat the first time I listened to it. Further listens have proven the longivity of the album, but it is what I would call an instantly enjoyable and memorable release. They don´t come much more professional than this and a 4 star (80%) rating is fully deserved.

PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art of Time Travel

Album · 2008 · Metal Related
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Presto Ballets sound is likely to come as a bit of a surprise to anyone who knows guitarist Kurdt Vaderhoof from his other band Metal Church. Here there's an absence of the thrash metal of that band, instead Presto Ballet have a sound firmly based on seventies American progressive rock bearing a resemblance to the likes of Styx and Kansas with a bit of Deep Purple thrown in for good measure.

The Lost Art of Time Travel is their second album and very good it is too. 7 songs make up the album, 4 of them 9 minutes or longer giving ample opportunity for instrumental workouts. Presto Ballet produce a powerful yet melodic sound, the seventies authenticity helped by the production and much use being made of keyboards like Hammond organ and Melotron. The band are all great players and in Scott Albright they have found an excellent rock vocalist capable of handling the strong melodies with ease.

The album is consistently strong making it difficult to pick favourite tracks but special mention should be made of One Tragedy at a Time, a 14 minute masterpiece with swirling melotrons and Hammond organ, powerful guitar riffs and a dynamic rhythm section. It's nearly 3 minutes before the vocals come giving you an idea of the space left for instrumental interplay. Although as already stated, they produce a powerful sound, there's still room for some light and shade with plenty of changes.

This is pretty much the formula for the album which is fine with me but You're Alive adds an acoustic guitar driven interlude very much reminding me of Styx both musically and vocally and excellent it is too. Haze, which closes the album also offers some diversification being one of the other more restrained and laid back moments until an instrumental section picks things up a bit reminding me of Genesis with some Hackett style lead guitar.

This album turned out to be one of the unexpected gems of 2008 and recommended to anyone who likes their prog metal with priorities on strong melodies.

PRESTO BALLET The Lost Art of Time Travel

Album · 2008 · Metal Related
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Pretty neat sophomore effort from US band Presto Ballet here, and a great find for those who like progressive rock as it was back in the golden days of the genre.

Their chosen style resides somewhere in between a rectangle formed by acts such as Yes, Genesis, Kansas and Uriah Heep; strong and melodic compositions with more than a few symphonic tendencies - but with a heaviness and grit to the guitar-work as the only element that reveals the metal background of the bands instigator.

Nothing new or ground-breaking on this release; the overall sound a heavier, darker and somewhat grittier version of a band like The Flower Kings; but the songs are well made, planned and executed. The moods and atmospheres strong, the melodies compelling and the compositions evolve just enough to stay interesting while maintaining separate identities.

Well worth checking out.

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